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LCH Sermons—Lent 2009

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Palm/Passion Sunday—April 5, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Isaiah 50:4–9a; Psalm 31:9–16; Philippians 2:5–11; Mark 14:1–15:47

This Sunday’s sermon is not available because of techical problems.

Lent V—March 29, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Psalm 51:1–13 or Psalm 119:9–16; Hebrews 5:5–10; John 12:20–33
Summary: In today’s first lesson, Jeremiah announces a new covenant full of promise and hope. These days it is difficult to get excited about God’s promises or about the story of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus tells the disciple that a seed must fall to the ground before it can grow, but we often are so tied up in our lives as Christians and as a church that we do not want to let go of what we have. But the only way for the promise to grow is to plant it. This requires that we believe God and have courage. Our call is to plant the seed, and from that seed, something greater will grow.

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Lent IV—March 22, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Numbers 21:4–9; Psalm 107:1–3, 17–22; Ephesians 2:1–10; John 3:14–21
Summary: Today’s first lesson is a difficult story of how the people of Israel in the desert complained and were bitten by snakes. Then God had Moses make a bronze snake, the people looked at it, and they were saved. Earlier the people had made their own golden calf, worshipped it, and been punished. This time, the image came from God and was given power by God. In today’s familiar Gospel lesson, John says that Jesus will be lifted up on the cross, a symbol of shame that was transformed by God. This is how God loves the world, how God sweeps away golden calves, how God transforms our serpents, how God’s promise is alive for us.

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Lent III—March 15, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Exodus 20:1–17; Psalm 19; I Corinthians 1:18–25; John 2:13–22
Summary: The Ten Commandments, which we find in today’s first lesson, really describe our relationship with God. There are many choice for what we make god, but putting God first is the choice that works. So Jesus, in the Gospel lesson, drives out the money changers because they had displaced God in the Temple. However, the Ten Commandments cannot save us. We are made whole through the foolishness of the cross.

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Lent II—March 8, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Psalm 22:22–30; Romans 4:13–25; Mark 8:31–38
Summary: The story of Abraham and Sarah helps us understand the key verse from today’s Gospel: “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.” God promised that they will be father and mother of many nations, Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned as righteousness. We are used to a piety that pairs rewards with good works, but Paul tells us that it is the cross that is reckoned to us as righteousness. Following Jesus means putting our selves aside and looking into the eyes of our neighbors. Lent is our time to learn how to be Christians, to see the relationship between Jesus’ Messiahship and our discipleship, to take up our crosses and follow.

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Lent I—March 1, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Genesis 9:8–17; Psalm 25:1–9; I Peter 3:18–22; Mark 1:9–15
Summary: The last two weeks I have noticed lots of meanness, and I have been tempted to respond in anger. We cannot control others, but we can control ourselves by letting God’s Spirit control us. Both the story of Noah and the Gospel tell us not to be afraid. Letting go of fear starts with God’s rainbow in the sky and ends at the cross. They reinforce in us God’s message “You are my child in whom I am well pleased.” Remembering the promise of the rainbow, we can move out into the world.

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